Housing group triumphs in Leicester Apprenticeship Hub awards
"It is an incredible honour to be recognised for the work of our Academy."
Chan Kataria, emh group Chief Executive
A long-term commitment to providing training and education opportunities for local young people has seen Leicestershire-based housing and care organisation emh group named UK Large Employer of the Year at the Leicester Apprenticeship Hub awards.
Group Chief Executive Chan Kataria and HR Director Maggie Mitchell were presented with the award and interviewed on stage by BBC East Midlands Today presenters Dominic Heale and Geeta Pendse.
In recognition of how highly apprenticeships are regarded in Leicester, the awards and the graduation ceremony, which was held at the historic De Montfort Hall in the city, were sponsored by IBM. The students were all dressed up in mortar boards and robes while their friends and family looked on with pride. Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby gave a speech to the new graduates.
The event celebrated the achievements of hundreds of higher and advanced apprentices in Leicestershire, and it is hoped that its success will raise the profile of apprenticeships in comparison to other academic routes. A graduation ceremony shows that a higher or advanced qualification is on the same level as a university undergraduate degree. This was the first graduation ceremony in Leicestershire and it is hoped that it will develop it into an annual event.
Over the last two years, the emh group Academy has supported 20 apprentices in service areas ranging from maintenance and housing services to HR and marketing. Last year the Academy also launched its Traineeship scheme, an innovative pre-apprenticeship programme aimed at youngsters with few academic qualifications.
The Academy continues to go from strength to strength. This latest achievement adds to the awards it won in 2014: Newcomer Large Employer of the Year in the regional National Apprenticeship Service Awards, Outstanding Contribution to Apprenticeships by an Employer at the Leicester College Apprenticeship Awards, and Achiever of the Year at the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Midlands Awards for the Academy’s inspirational leader, Chris Swaine.
Chan Kataria, emh group Chief Executive, said: “It is an incredible honour to be recognised for the work of our Academy, but it is our apprentices that should be congratulated. Without their hard work, commitment and enthusiasm the scheme would not be the success it is.”